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Cross Sell 365… When, Why and How?

July 13, 2018

Cross selling is not exclusive to the insurance and risk management industry.  It translates into just about any business – an essential strategy to build brand loyalty, increase revenues and drive profits.  It involves products and services that complement the original purchase.

Cross selling is based on bringing value to the client team in ways that they may not have expected when they hired you.  It requires understanding the client’s business, not just focusing on the initial technical issue.  Cross selling increases the customer’s reliance on you and decreases the likelihood of switching to a competitor.  It is a critical performance indicator of an agency.  High performance “best practice” agencies know why, when and how to cross sell.  In today’s turbulent insurance marketplace and challenging economy, cross selling is no longer an option.  It must be part of the life blood of your firm.  It is a requirement for your future and that of your business.

Although you may not be conscious of it, as a consumer, you make decisions every day on cross selling strategies.  Examples of cross sell purchases include souvenirs at sporting events, the detailing of a car at a car wash, golf balls at a pro shop and fresh squeezed lemonade and cotton candy at a carnival.  Cross selling is one of the easiest and most effective means of marketing.  It is a winning formula that takes marginal effort as compared to the original sale.  After the buyer is committed and has demonstrated pleasure with the initial experience, the subsequent sale or sales are much easier.

Research on Cross Selling

A research study by Deloitte & Touche uncovered that the odds of selling a product or service to a new customer are generally about 15% whereas the odds of a sale to an existing customer is 50%.  Plus, it costs 5 to 8 times more to sell to a new customer.

Beyond Insurance has also performed research on this matter through the administration of the following survey question to over 5,000 agency principals, producers and account managers:

CrossSell365 Statement Graphic

The results indicate that 63% of those surveyed readily admit that they lack, or are uncertain if they have, an effective cross selling system.  This is startling.  At a time when customer loyalty and trust is at an all time low and the cost of new customer acquisition is at an all time high, agents and brokers must appreciate the importance and value of a disciplined, strategic and results-oriented cross selling system.

Barometer for Organic Growth

Cross selling success is an important barometer for organic growth and profitability because it represents the revenue associated with each customer.  As cross selling success improves, so does revenue, customer retention and the lifetime value of each customer.

The importance of cross selling translates into most successful enterprises.  In the fast food industry, customers are invited to try new products or complimentary items.  For example, when ordering a hamburger, the server asks if fries or a shake should accompany the order.  In retail sales, the salesperson often extends a special offer to entice the buyer to purchase a complementary item.

An agency that understands the connection between cross sell success and organic growth, demonstrates significantly improved performance.  These organizations see cross selling as a key ingredient to the customer experience.  With each subsequent purchase, the agency benefits from loyalty and profitability.

As you and your firm successfully execute a cross sell plan, you will gain enhanced knowledge about the customer.  The accumulation of wisdom about the customer is essential to a long term and mutually beneficial relationship.

A Formula for Success

As I look at my career and the results of The Addis Group, the firm has benefited from a disciplined and strategic cross sell plan.  Being recognized as one of the premier agencies in the United States is not dumb luck.  It happened with strategy, execution and a carefully designed cross sell plan.  Once the first sale is consummated, each member of The Addis Group understands his or her role as relates cross sell execution.  A cross sell map, score cards, incentives and reports energize the system.

The Addis Group’s plan incorporates eight cross sell components.  While the majority of steps involve exposure identification encompassed in a client-focused “discovery process”, the Stewardship Review has proven to be the most opportune time to cross sell.  The Stewardship Review is conducted at the six month point of the renewal process and is focused on deepening the customer relationship.  At each Review, we carefully listen to the client talk about his or her visions, aspirations and goals – personally and professionally.  While time is spent on the performance of The Addis Group, the primary intention of the meeting is to better understand each client’s short and long term objectives.  We encourage the client to speak about the strengths of his or her business, opportunities for enhanced performance and potential issues which impact the organization’s bottom line.   It is the discovery of goals and the recognition of issues that facilitates The Addis Group’s ability to connect the cross sell dots.

The Addis Group’s cross sell plan is supported by a handful of strategic initiatives including customer intimacy benchmarking, client profile forms, newsletters, e-newsletters and risk management leadership forums.  In 2011, The Addis Group instituted its “21 Club” – a team oriented and fun program through which members of the firm receive points for cross selling and referral harvesting initiatives.  The 21 Club includes monthly score cards and quarterly recognition.  It has added energy, discipline and revenue to the firm’s cross sell system.

Cracking the Cross Sell Code

If you are serious about a results-oriented cross sell system, there are 10 strategies that will guarantee success:

Strategy #1Cross Sell Plan.  As with any successful initiative, you must have a plan.  Cross selling success begins with a strategy map which responds to the questions Why? When? and How?

Strategy #2Understand the client’s concerns.  The biggest obstacle to cross sell success is not knowing enough about the client.  While agents and brokers have vast data, most lack a “discovery process” to understand the customer’s goals, passions and struggles.  High performing organic growth agencies understand the importance of uncovering customer issues to position cross sell opportunities.

Strategy #3Fulfill each and every promise.  The foundation for cross selling success requires you to excel on the initial project.  You must solve the specific issue at hand before  introducing a second initiative.  You will consistently be rewarded for jumping over the bar with room to spare.

Strategy #4 – The principle of worthy intent.  Cross sell experts always put the customer’s interests ahead of their own.  Your cross sell initiatives should always be focused on improving the performance of those you serve.

Strategy #5 – Connectivity.  Cross selling success involves connecting a subsequent sale to the initial engagement.  It requires helping clients understand how decisions they make in one area uniquely position you and your Team to expand your role in other areas.

Strategy #6 – Know your capabilities and limitations.  To effectively cross sell, you must feel confident with the products, services and capabilities of your firm as well as the limitations of your organization.

Strategy #7 – Trust others in your firm.  Cross sell strategies often fail because people do not effectively work together.  They have not learned to trust each other.  To stimulate cross selling success, consider bringing your associates together to build knowledge, trust and respect.

Strategy #8 – Customer relationship management.  High performing organic growth agencies have a disciplined customer relationship management system which fosters credibility, intimacy and knowledge.  A customer must feel valued before the cross selling initiatives bear fruit.

Strategy #9 – The art of listening.  Far too often, agents and brokers spend too much time demonstrating their level of expertise in the sales process.  Their presentations are self-serving and viewed by the customer as “product dumps”.  Cross sell success begins and ends with the art of listening to the customer.

Strategy #10 – Benchmarking cross sell performance.  The success of your cross sell plan requires measuring and benchmarking plan performance in a variety of ways including revenue generation, cross sell hit ratios and retention.

Cross Sell 365…your most important strategy to build brand loyalty, increase revenues and drive profits.

About the Author

Scott Addis, CPCU, CRA, CBWA is the CEO of Beyond Insurance and is recognized as an industry leader having been named a Philadelphia finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year”

90% New Business Hit Ratios… Guaranteed!

July 10, 2018

If you are a producer, this article is for you.  It speaks to the importance of being selective in prospecting.  If you do not use careful judgment in choosing business development opportunities and/or have a random approach to prospect research and qualification, you are losing time, confidence, reputation and money.  On the other hand, if you have a disciplined and strategic system – a Prospect Qualification Filter (PQF) – to screen candidates, your time, confidence, reputation and money is protected.

So what is a Prospect Qualification Filter and why is it so important to you?  It is a disciplined and strategic tool to enable you to determine the degree to which a prospective client meets your predetermined criteria.  Simply put, the PQF facilitates your ability to confidently and consistently select prospects who “belong on your Team.”  If designed and utilized properly, your PQF will screen out commodity shoppers, assess the depth of the relationship with the incumbent agent and allow you to gain access to the prospect’s Management Team.  Your Prospect Qualification

Filter will protect your time, confidence, reputation and money.  And it will give you a new business “hit ratio” of 90% or more!

Historic Significance of the PQF to The Addis Group

In 1990, I founded The Addis Group, an insurance brokerage and risk management consulting firm in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.  No name, no revenue, no carriers, no customers, no reputation.  A true start up with little room for error.

During the initial phase of agency development, The Addis Group focused on the design of a unique value proposition, reached out to its network and created a Stakeholder Intimacy System.  With these building blocks in place, it was time to focus on a disciplined prospect research and qualification system to fill our pipeline with opportunities as well as filter out “commodity shoppers.”  The Prospect Qualification Filter enabled The Addis Group to have an historic new business hit ratio of 90% and be recognized as a peak performer in the industry.

When I reflect upon the reasons for the Prospect Qualification Filter, it was the realization that each member of the firm needed control over time, confidence, reputation and money – precious attributes in building a business.

Diminished Value Snapshot™

Diminished Value TableTo reinforce the importance of protecting your time, confidence, reputation and money, Beyond Insurance created the Diminished Value Snapshot™ — a tool to enable you to perform an analysis of the effectiveness of your new business approach in the marketplace.  The Diminished Value Snapshot™ calculates the erosion of time and diminished value using a new business “miss ratio” multiplied by the average estimated hours per business development opportunity.

Let’s apply the Diminished Value Snapshot™ against the performance of the “average producer.”

The average producer’s new business “hit ratio” is 30%.  His or her “miss ratio” is then 70%.  It is not unrealistic for a producer to allocate 40 hours or more working on a middle market new business opportunity in performing tasks including, but not limited to, coverage reviews, claims analysis, contract and lease reviews, market research, the bidding process and final proposal design.  Assuming a producer works 50 hours per week, his or her erosion of time calculates to over 8 weeks of diminished value in a given year.  Now, you see how time, confidence, reputation and money is at risk.

Self-confidence

While the attributes listed above are all important, my experience in coaching and mentoring producers indicates that self-confidence is the most cherished of the four.  Self-confidence is an attribute characterized by a belief that one can take control of his or her life and plans.  It is the belief in one’s abilities.  Confidence is the state of being certain that a chosen course of action is most effective given the circumstances.

To be successful in the business of insurance and risk management, you must be confident.  Confident in your approach.  Confident in your communication skills.  Confident in technical know.  Confident in the manner in which services are delivered.  Confident in your ability to qualify and select business development opportunities.  Learning how to be confident is the single most important life skill a producer will ever acquire.  Confidence impacts happiness, success and well-being.  Other desired qualities use confidence as a foundation.

Without a Prospect Qualification Filter, your confidence is on the line.  And, your ability to control the outcome of the engagement is diminished.  When you gain control, you make sound judgments, create strategies and carry them out effectively, you are strategic not random.

Designing Your Prospect Qualification Filter

In the design of your PQF, there are three criteria that stand out above the rest.  These include:

  1. Understanding the depth of the relationship with the incumbent agent or broker.
  2. Gaining access to the Management Team of the prospect.
  3. Determining the decision maker’s enthusiasm for your unique process.

In the initial prospect meeting, you should make a point to uncover each of these threeCriteria Table - 90 Hit criteria.  The Criteria Filter shown to the right is comprised of lights – red (stop), yellow (caution) and green (go).  If you get three green lights, you are off and running.  A new client is around the corner.  Using the tool, you will be confident in a 90% or better hit ratio.  If you encounter a yellow light, proceed with caution and perform due diligence before committing time and resources.  If you get a red light, know that your time, confidence, reputation and money are at risk.  There are times that you will proceed with a red light.  However, it is only done with the strong belief that you can turn a red light green.

In this complex and turbulent world of insurance and risk management, it is becoming increasingly difficult to control the outcome of our actions.  If you have responsibilities for business development, I encourage you to understand what is at risk — your time, confidence, reputation and money.  The Prospect Qualification

Filter…your strategy to achieve a 90% new business hit ratio.  Guaranteed!

 

About the Author

Scott Addis, CPCU, CRA, CBWA is the CEO of Beyond Insurance and is recognized as an industry leader having been named a Philadelphia finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award as well as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America.”

Beyond Insurance is a consulting firm that offers leadership training, cultural transformation, and talent and tactical development for enlightened professionals who are looking to take their practice to the next level.  Since 2007, the proven and repeatable processes of Beyond Insurance have transformed individuals and organizations as measured by enhanced organic growth, productivity, profitability, and value in the marketplace.

The Prospect Trigger… Emotion!

July 6, 2018

What pulls the prospect’s trigger? What is the single most important ingredient in the recipe of new business acquisition? Emotion!

So, what is emotion? And why is it so important for you? It is the feeling that leads the prospect to act and react. Emotion describes the intensity of how the prospect responds to you. Emotions drive the prospect toward pleasure and away from perceived danger. Perhaps, emotions are best described as signals from the subconscious that steer the prospect’s decision-making process – especially when all choices appear to be equal.

Logic vs Emotion1

The prospect’s decision making process relies on a mixture of emotion and its partner, logic. Think of a situation where you had bulletproof facts, reason and logic on your side and believed there was no way the prospect would say no to your perfectly constructed proposal. To do so would be impossible, you figured, because there was no other logical solution or answer. And then the prospect dug in his or her heels and refused to budge. The prospect was not swayed by your logic. You were shocked when you did not get the order.

What happened? The prospect was persuaded by reason, but not moved by emotion. The challenge with relying exclusively on emotion is that after he or she has left the persuasive situation, the emotions fade, leaving nothing to fall back on. Logic plays a key role in creating a foundation for emotion. The balance between logic and emotion is much like the twin engines of persuasion and influence. And it is essential that you read the prospect, as analytical types need more logic than emotion. On the other hand, the amiable prospect requires more emotion and less logic.

As one who has produced in excess of $100 million of premium and now embeds the Beyond Insurance® process within select agencies who are members of the Beyond Insurance Global Network, I can tell you that it is essential that you to have both elements present in your delivery, regardless of the personality type listening.

The Beyond Insurance® process gives evidence that the prospect reacts based on emotions, then justifies decisions with logic and fact. If your message is completely based on emotion, it will set off alarms on the logical side. On the other hand, a logical message with no appeal to emotion will not create a strong enough response from the prospect. Dustin Boss, SPHR, CWCA, CRA, of Ottawa Kent (Jenison, MI) and a member of the Beyond Insurance Global Network, states, “the Beyond Insurance® process is a disciplined system that reveals risk issues that impact performance as well as a blueprint for resolution. There is a lot of emotion when the prospect becomes aware of the implications of these risks. The Beyond Insurance® process is based on logic yet stimulates emotions and emotional connections.”

Stirring Emotion in the Buying Process

You now know that the single, most important motivator in purchasing decisions is not data or facts.  It is emotional response.  People buy when they feel comfortable, when they feel they can trust you and when your process feels natural and reassuring.  In simplistic terms, people rationalize purchasing decisions based on facts, but they make decisions based on feelings.

It is always the heart that is touched first.  So, what does this mean to you and your business?  Although you may take great pride in the “features and benefits” of your offerings, it is imperative that you assess the degree to which you are able to stimulate the emotions for those whom you serve.  In order to accomplish this, you must deeply engage your customer’s feelings in addition to, and even above, their intellect.  The simplest strategy is to find out what keeps your customer up at night as well as what drives them.  It is your discovery of their goals, passions and struggles that opens the door for an intense and lasting relationship – an emotional connection that transcends price and product.

There are a range of emotions that affect the customer’s purchasing decisions including fear, greed, pride, envy, anger, pain and guilt to name a few.  In the business of insurance, compliance and risk management, fear is a real motivator.  Fear of losing something.  Fear of lawsuits.  Fear of injury.  Fear of risk…an emotion that impacts purchasing decisions.

The Emotionless 90-day Bidding Process

Attempting to win business within the 90-day bidding process is challenging as insurance renewal decisions are based on logic and facts. The evaluation of data and facts (i.e. insurance terms and conditions), appeal to the left side of the brain – the logical side. Your prospect’s goals, dreams, aspirations and struggles, on the other hand, appeal to the right side of the brain – the emotional side. In order to consistently win business, you must have a strategy to stimulate the emotional side of the brain that impacts purchasing decisions.

The research is overwhelming and concludes that up to 90% of purchasing decisions are based on emotion. That being said, the implications are enormous for you as a negotiation professional. If you believe that your success is dependent upon building logical cases to win business, you are mistaken. It is your ability to enable the prospect to reveal their problems, pains and unmet objectives that will separate you from the pack.  Prospects want to work with you because you help them feel that is it to their advantage to do so.

Surveys of customers consistently show that they put the highest value on professionals who make them think, who bring new ideas, who find creative and innovative ways to help the customer’s business. And who are able to stimulate emotions.

The Beyond Insurance® Process

The Beyond Insurance® Process is a four-step approach that impacts how the consumer thinks, feels and acts. While the process is based on logic, each step of the process also stimulates emotion. It is for this reason that members of the Beyond Insurance Global Network boast new business hit ratios of 90% or more. Let’s take an inside look at the process.

Step 1 – Discovery

The first and most important step of the Beyond Insurance® process involves a curiosity and desire to understand the inner workings of a business or family. A key component involves active listening to understand the prospect’s goals, passions and struggles. It is in step one where emotion overflows as the prospect openly reveals his or her short- and long-term goals, problems and unmet objectives. It is the power of discovery through which the prospect lets his or her guard down and shares their inner most feelings, including specific risk issues.

The consultative attributes of step one lead to the identification of exposures to loss… the risks that make the prospect vulnerable.

Step 2 – Strategies to Solve Problems

The second step in the Beyond Insurance process is focused on the design and development of strategies to solve the risk issues evidenced in step 1. While each and every strategy is based on logic, it is the emotion that enables the prospect to take action with the goal of feeling secure and in control. Step two gives the prospect the diagnostics to solve his or her problems.

Step 3 – Implementation

Step three represents the execution of the strategies designed and developed in step two. While the implementation phase is logical and methodical, the prospect feels pleasure and pride in a perfectly designed insurance and risk management program.

Step 4 – Monitoring Results

Businesses and family are dynamic. What may work today may not work tomorrow. It is for this reason that Beyond Insurance Global Network members introduce risk management service plans, stewardship reviews and customer intimacy surveys to insure that an organization and family have a plan to protect their assets. The process creates trust and respect… key attributes in driving emotions.

5 Ways to Stimulate Emotions

Beyond Insurance® would like to suggest five ways to stimulate prospect emotions.

  • Prior to the first prospect meeting, research the risk issues that may impact the business or family.
  • Conduct a thoughtful discovery session whereby the prospect openly communicates his or her goals, passions and struggles.
  • Deliver a risk management process that includes strategies to alleviate pain points.
  • Teach the prospect things that he or she does not know.
  • Effectively communicate the results of your plan. Monitor results.

While your success in the business of insurance and risk management is dependent upon your technical and tactical skills, your ability to stir emotion is the single, most important ingredient as relates new business acquisition. What pulls the prospect’s trigger? You now know the answer – emotion!

¹ Mortensen, Kurt W. Maximum Influencer: The 12 Universal Laws of Power Persuasion. American Management Association, 2014

About the Author

Scott Addis, CPCU, CRA, CBWA is the CEO of Beyond Insurance and is recognized as an industry leader having been named a Philadelphia finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award as well as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America.” Beyond Insurance is a consulting firm that offers leadership training, cultural transformation, and talent and tactical development for enlightened professionals who are looking to take their practice to the next level.  Since 2007, the proven and repeatable processes of Beyond Insurance have transformed individuals and organizations as measured by enhanced organic growth, productivity, profitability, and value in the marketplace.

 

The Consumer’s Purchasing Decision…Logic or Emotion. And the Winner Is?

July 2, 2018

Is the consumer’s purchasing decision based on logic or emotion?  Let’s examine the medical case of Clyde.

Clyde was a brilliant business executive who was respected by all who had dealings with him.  While people responded to his warm and caring nature, it was his decision making ability that truly set him apart.  Clyde was precise, systematic and rational.  He took great pride in using logic to sort through complex issues to reach conclusions – especially when it came to purchasing decisions.  Clyde had an endearing expression, “Just give me the facts.  There is no room for emotion in business decisions.”

Last spring, Clyde was diagnosed with cancer in the right side of his brain.  The doctors advised Clyde and his family that the right side controlled his creative abilities, his center for intuitive thinking.  The left side, on the other hand, was his center for reading, writing, speech, language and memory – the analytical part of the brain.  By all accounts, the surgery on Clyde was a success.  The tumor was removed, and he was told that he would be able to resume a full and productive life.  Clyde could not wait to get back to work.

Upon his return to the office, he was greeted with a hero’s welcome.  The decisive leader was back – or so people thought.  While Clyde looked terrific and spoke eloquently, there was something wrong.  Something was missing.  Clyde’s executive assistant and management team soon noticed that he was spending countless hours deciding who to call, what project to tackle, where to eat lunch and even which pen to use when signing his name.  It was evident that Clyde had lost his ability to make decisions.  Even the simplest decision seemed impossible for Clyde.  He was pathologically indecisive.  He had a grave condition, “analysis paralysis.”  Clyde’s remarkable business career had come to a screeching halt.

This sad story gives evidence that people make decisions emotionally and support them with logic.  This includes people as systematic and rational as Clyde.

Antonio Damasio, the renowned neurobiological scientist studied people who suffered damage to the part of the brain where emotions are generated – the right side.  Damasio concluded that while these people may seem “normal,” their ability to make decisions are severely impaired.  They can logically describe what they are doing but find it extremely difficult to make decisions.  The research evidenced that emotions are essential for choosing.  One’s decision making process is dependent upon emotions.  In fact, emotions drive 80% of decision making, logic only 20%.

So what is logic?  It is reason supported by facts.  What is emotion?  It is the feeling that leads us to act and react.  Emotion describes the intensity of how our body and mind will respond to an event.  Emotions drive us toward pleasure or away from perceived danger.  Perhaps, emotions are best described as signals from the subconscious that steers the decision making process.  This is especially true when logic sees all choices as equal.

Emotions in Purchasing Decisions

The single motivator in purchasing decisions is not data, or facts.  It is emotional response.  People buy when they feel comfortable, when they feel they can trust you and when your process feels natural and reassuring.  In simplistic terms, people rationalize purchasing decisions based on facts, but they make decisions based on feelings.

It is always the heart which is touched first.  So, what does this mean to you and your business?  Although you may take great pride in the “features and benefits” of your offerings, it is imperative that you assess the degree to which you are able to stimulate the emotions for those whom you serve.  In order to accomplish this, you must deeply engage your customer’s emotions in addition to, and even above, their intellect.  The simplest strategy is to find out what keeps your customer up at night as well as what drives them.  It is your discovery of their goals, passions and struggles which opens the door for an intense and lasting relationship – an emotional connection which transcends price and product.

There are a range of emotions which affect the customer’s purchasing decisions including fear, greed, pride, envy, anger, pain and guilt to name a few.  In the business of insurance, compliance and risk management, fear is a real motivator.  Fear of losing something.  Fear of law suits.  Fear of injury.  Fear of risk…an emotion which impacts purchasing decisions.

Engineering the Customer Experience

Harley Davidson, Disney, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Urban Outfitters and Southwest Airlines are examples of organizations who are masters of understanding the psychology of the customer.  They know how to engineer the customer experience to capitalize upon emotions in decision making.  The success of these outstanding firms lies not only in the quality and integrity of their products and services, but in the emotional connection with the customer.  They go right at the heart to create intensely loyal followers.  Why else would a person find pleasure by tattooing his or her body with logos making reference to Harley Davidson?

Jeffrey Gitomer, the renowned author of The Little Red Book of Selling states “Some people are headstrong.  Some people are heart strong, and most people, especially sales people, don’t understand that the heart is the filter for decisions.  The head is attached to the price, the heart is attached to the wallet.  If you jerk the heartstrings, the wallet comes popping out of the back pocket.”

It is interesting to note that top notch marketing and advertising agencies use emotion-based communications to the fullest.  They know that our brain consists of three separate brains – the original sensory brain, an emotional brain and a rational brain.  The emotional brain is reported to send 10 times the amount of data to the rational brain than it receives in return.

Customer loyalty to a brand is an outcome of emotion and requires more than trust and respect.  Customer loyalty requires an emotional attachment.  It is this component of emotional sentiment that turns the loyal customer into a social brand ambassador who proactively enhances brand equity by generating word-of-mouth recommendations.  Brand loyalty, once achieved, acts as an effective barrier against competition.  And, it all starts with the engineering of the customer experience to create emotion!

Ten Strategies to Elicit Emotion in the Purchasing Process

There are several strategies to elicit emotion in purchasing decisions.  A suggested top ten list includes:

  1. Goals, Passions, Struggles. Create the setting for the customer to talk about his or her goals, passions and struggles.
  2. State of Mind. Do not start with your product or services.  Rather, gain a grasp of the consumer’s state of mind.  Your quickest route to an emotional connection is found in one’s feelings.
  3. Benefits not Features. A feature is an attribute of a product or service.  A benefit is the way a product or service will solve the customer’s problem.  Benefits create emotion.  Features do not!
  4. Story Telling. Plant stories in your presentation to entertain, inform, advise, warn and educate.  Stories are capable of stimulating strong emotion.
  5. Positive Attitude. Emotion works hand in hand with the way one thinks about an issue or situation.  Your positive attitude influences emotion in purchasing decisions.
  6. Testimonials. Customers want to feel reassured about their purchasing decisions.  Testimonials increase credibility and comfort in the sales process.  The more specific the testimonial, the more power it has for the customer.
  7. Visuals. Create vivid, powerful images in the mind of the customer.  Research substantiates that the brain is wired to react to visual stimuli.
  8. Listen. Far too often, we get so caught up in delivering our ideas that we don’t hear the voice of the customer.  Ask questions and listen.  When you get the customer to talk about his or her issues, you create emotion.
  9. Empathy. Your capacity to identify with the customer’s feelings and emotions is powerful.  Empathy demonstrates a true understanding of the emotional state of the consumer.
  10. Future Vision. A vision is a motivating view of the future.  It creates pride.  It gives direction.  Emotion is created by taking the customer to a future place and time and looking back.  Future visions are filled with anticipation.

The Consumer’s Purchasing Decision…Logic or Emotion.  And the winner is?  Emotion!

 

About the Author

Scott Addis, CPCU, CRA, CBWA is the CEO of Beyond Insurance and is recognized as an industry leader having been named a Philadelphia finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award as well as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America.” Beyond Insurance is a consulting firm that offers leadership training, cultural transformation, and talent and tactical development for enlightened professionals who are looking to take their practice to the next level.  Since 2007, the proven and repeatable processes of Beyond Insurance have transformed individuals and organizations as measured by enhanced organic growth, productivity, profitability, and value in the marketplace.

 

I3 – Issues, Implications, Interventions…Your Best Strategy to Escape The Commodity Trap

June 19, 2018

Barney is a 30-year-old producer.  He is intelligent and highly motivated.  He is technically proficient having obtained his CIC and ARM designations.  As a former college athlete, Barney has strong competitive instincts and a passion to win. I cubed Banner image

I had the pleasure of meeting Barney at a workshop in Atlanta two years ago.  I was extremely impressed with his professionalism, inquisitive nature and passion for excellence.  He made a positive first impression.

Upon returning to my office in Philadelphia after the workshop, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from Barney.  Barney confided in me that he was extremely frustrated with the insurance business and considering leaving the industry.  He was tired with competing in the “commodity trap” – the 90-day insurance bidding process.  He stated, “For the first time in my life, I have begun to lose confidence in myself.  I am not used to playing a game where I have so little impact on the outcome.  I do not like to lose.”  Read more…

The Critical Energy Between Leaders and Managers

November 18, 2016

B2CMost insurance and risk management professionals are not yet aware of the critical energy that is formed between leaders and managers.

Great organizations have a wonderful balance between Leaders and Managers.  Leaders are the visionaries who look ahead and plan what is to come.  Managers look to the present and make sure that things get done properly. Read more…

Are You a Manager or a Leader?

November 8, 2016

beyond insuranceWhen you learn whether you have the characteristics of a Manager or a Leader, you will gain the insight and self-confidence that come from knowing more about yourself. 

Managing: is about stewardship, control, planning, organizing, resource allocation and problem solving.  It is the act of coordinating people and resources to efficiently produce goods, strategies or services. Read more…